Florida Executions 05/20/09 - 03:08 PM
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The Florida Supreme Court has heard appeals from two convicted killers whose death warrants have already been signed by Gov. Charlie Crist.
John Richard Marek was scheduled to be put to death last week, but the justices stayed his execution after his attorney asked for a postponement to address new evidence in the case.
Marek was sentenced to death for the June, 1983 kidnapping, rape and murder of Adella Marie Simmons in Broward County.
Simmons was one of two women returning home when their car broke down on the Florida Turnpike. Marek and his accomplice, Raymond Wigley, stopped and persuaded Simmons to ride with them to a service station.
They instead took her to a beach about 60 miles away where she was strangled with a bandanna after being sexually assaulted.
Marek was sentenced to death, but Wigley got life in prison.
Marek’s attorney, Martin McClain, made two points before the Supreme Court today, including the argument that Marek’s death sentence should be reduced because his accomplice received a life term.
McClain also contends there was inappropriate communication between the judge in Marek’s case and the state.
The other case heard today focused on David Johnston. He is scheduled to be executed May 27th after being convicted of stabbing and strangling 84-year-old Mary Hammond at her home in Orlando.
Johnston’s lawyer argues the execution should be delayed to perform DNA testing that could exonerate him.